Painting Oil Portrait

For mixing flesh and hair tones», portrait and figure painters lean heavily on warm onion-colon in the red. yellow. orange, and brown range. These colors dominate the palette. However, even with a very full selection of their warm colors, the palette rarely includes more than a dozen hues. 

Reds. Cadmium red light it. a (Very red with a hint of orange. It has tremendous tinting strength. which means that just a little goes a long way when you mix cadmium red with another color Alizarin crimson is a darker red with a slightly violet cast. Venetian red is a coppery, brownish hue with considerable tinting strength too. Venetian red is a member of a whole family of coppery tones which include Indian red. English ted. light red and terra rosa. Anyone of these will do

Yellows. Cadmium yellow light is a dazzling, sunny yellow with tremendous tinting strength, like all the cadmiums. Yellow ochre is a soft, tannish tone. Raw sienna is a dark yellowish brown as it cornet from the tube but turns to a tannish yellow when you add white—with a slightly more golden tone than yellow ochre. Thus, yellow ochre and raw sienna perform similar functions.

Cadmium Orange. You can easily mix cadmium orange by Mending cadmium red light and cadmium yellow light. So cadmium orange is really an optional color—though it’s convenient to have.

Browns. Burnt umber is a rich deep brown color. Raw umber is a subdued, dusty brown that turns to a kind of golden grey when you add white.

Blues. Ultramarine blue is a dark, subdued hue when a faint him of violet. Cohall blue is bright and delicate Green. Knowing that they can easily mix a wide range of greens by mixing the various blurs and yellows on their planes. many professionals don’t bother to candy green. However, it’s convenient to have a tube of green handy. The bright, clear hue called sin- dun n the green that most painters choose.

Black and White. The standard black, used by almost every oil painter, is ivory black. Buy either zinc white or titanium white; there’s very little difference between them except for their chemical content. Be sure to buy the biggest tube of white that ’s sold in the store; you’ll use lots of it

Linseed Oil. Although the color in the tubes already contains linseed od. the manufacturer adds only enough oil to produce a thick paste that you squeeze out in little mounds around the edge of your palette. When you start to paint, you’ll probably prefer more fluid colors. So buy a bottle of linseed oil and pour some into that little metal cup (or dipper ) clipped to the edge of your palette. You can then dip your brush into the oil. pick up some paint on the tip of the brush, and blend oil and point together on your palette.

Turpentine. Buy a big bottle of turpentine for two purposes. You’ll want to fill that second metal cup, clipped in the edge of your palette so that you can add a few drops of turpentine to the mixture of paint and linseed oil. This will make the paint even more fluid. The more turpentine you add, the more liquid the paint will become. Some oil painters like to premix linseed oil and turpentine in a bottle to make a thinner painting medium.

They keep the medium in one palette cup and pure turpentine in the other. For cleaning your brushes as you paint, pure some more turpentine into a jar about the size of your hand and keep this jar near the palette. Then, when you want to raise out the color on your brush and pick up a fresh color, you simply swirl the brush around in the turpentine and wipe the bristles on a newspaper.

Painting Mediums. The simplest painting medium is the traditional 50-50 blend of linseed oil and turpentine. Many painters are satisfied to thin then paint with that medium always, with no variation. On the other hand, art supply stores do sell other mediums that you might like to try. 

These are usually a blend of natural resin—called damar copal, or mastic, as you might expect – plus some linseed oil and turpentine. The resin is really a kind of varnish that adds luminosity to the paint and makes it dry more quickly Once you’ve tried the traditional linseed oil-turpentine combination, you might like to experiment with one of these resinous mediums.

Palette Layout

Before you start to paint, squeeze out a little dab of each color on your palette, plus a big dab of white. Establish a fixed location for each color, so you can find it easily. One good way is lo place your cool colours (black, blue, green) along one edge and the warm colors (yellow, orange, red. brown) along another edge. Put the white in a comer where it won’t be soiled by the other colors.

Understanding Anatomy

When painting faces, it is important to be aware of the underlying structures of the head. Although the bones and muscles aren’t visible in a final portrait, they provide the framework for the drawing, establishing the shape of the head and guiding the placement of the features. Having an understanding of the basic anatomy of the head will lend realism and credibility to your drawings.

understanding bone structure
Becoming familiar with the bones of the skull and the way they affect the surface of the skin is essential for correctly placing the curvatures
skull front view
When facial muscles contract; they affect the shape way they affect the surface of the skin is essential for correctly placing the curvatures, of the skin, cartilage, and underlying fatty tissues that cause the bulges, furrows, and ridges, and other prominent features of the head. other forms that create various facial expressions.
SEEING THE SKULL IN PROFILE In a profile view, it is easy to see how much area the back of the skull takes up. Notice that the length of the skull is just shy of its width.
visualizing muscles (the skull in profile)
The large muscles of the neck and the clavicle bone twist when the head is turned. The muscles and clavicle are visible, even underneath the skin; they can create a bulge or tension that is evident on the surface.

Learning The Planes of the Face

the planes of the face
Matty types and values of shadows contribute to the piecing together of all the planes of the face. Core shadows — or the main value of the shadows—are a result of both the underlying structure and the light source. Protruding objects, such as the nose, produce cast shadows, like the dark area on the left of this subject ‘s nose. Highlights are most visible when directly in the light’s path; here the light source is coming from above left, so the lightest planes of the face are the top of the head and the forehead. The darkest areas are directly opposite the light source, here the left side of the subject’s face and neck. Even in shadow, however, there are areas of the planes that receive spots of reflected light, such as those shown here on the chin and under the eye.

Step 1: Define Shape & Proportions of the Head

painting the face step 1

Use a round soft hair brush to draw the shape and proportions of the head. Thin the tube color with turpentine to the consistency of watercolour. The fact is defined as an owl. Just a few lines locate the features. Notice the vertical centre line that divided the face symmetrically and helps you to place the features more accurately.

Step 2: Define Shapes of Shadows

painting the face step 2

Next, use a bristle brush and with broad strokes paint the shape of the shadows. The light comes from the left so there are shadow planes on the right side of the hair, forehead, eye socket, nose, lips, jaw, chin and neck. Now there is a clear distinction between light and shadow.

Step 3: Adding halftones to lighted areas

painting the face step 3

Cover the lighted area of the face by using a bristle brush — the forehead, brow, ear. Cheek, note, appear and lower lips», and the light-struck patch on the cheek that’s in shadow. Now the brush begins to add some halftones, (lighter than shadow but darker than lights) on the cheek, jaw, chin, and neck. Dark strokes begin to define the eyes and the ear.

Step 4: Adding More Halftones To model Hair, Ear, Nose, Mouth & Chin

Now add more tones to model the form of the hair, ear, eyes, nose, mouth, and chin. Use a bristle brush begin to bend darks, lights, and halftones together. Dark strokes sharpen the edge of the feature» and some touches of darkness King the shoulders forward.

Step 5: Strengthen Darks & Lights, Blend Tones, Add Last Touches

In the final stage use, a bristle brush to strengthen the dark and the lights. to bring the tones together and to add the final touches of detail. Bristle brushes add darker tones to deepen the shadows and the halftones.

Then pick up a pale colour to brighten the lights on the forehead, brow. check, lips and chin. These tones are brushed together with back-and-forth strokes that blur the transition between light, halftone, and shadow. The lip of a round, soft hair brush adds the dark lines of the eyebrow, eyes, nostrils lips and ear.

This same brush adds highlights to the eyes and touches of light along the nose and lips. A bristle brush suggests the texture of the hair with swift, spontaneous strokes that follow the direction of the hair. The background is darkened and the portrait ts complete.

Things to Remember

  • The preliminary brush drawing defines shapes and proportions.
  • The darks establish the light and shadow planes of the face.
  • Lights and halftones come next.
  • Darks, lights, and halftones are amplified and brushed together
  • Finally, the darks, lights, and halftones are further defined and adjusted—and the painting is completed with crisp touches of dark and light that define the features.

You may have noticed that the background tone appears early ta the development of the picture and is then modified in the final stage, as the head is completed. A professional always remembers that the background is part of the picture and works on the background while working on the head.

How to Paint The Eyes

painting the eyes steps 1 and 2

Step 1. With a round soft hair brush sketch the line of the eyebrow, the lid and the eye itself. Memorize the subtle contours of the lid. Suiting front the outer comer to the top lid follows a long, flat curve, turning downward at the Inside turner. The lower lid does the opposite, suiting from the inside corner as a long, flat carve, then turning upward at the outside corner.

Step 2. A bristle brush scrubs in the darks; the shadow of the inside corner of the eye socket; the tone of iris the shadow lines within the upper lid. Then a paler lone is brushed in to suggest the delicate shadow on the white of the eye and the shadow beneath the lower lid.

painting the eyes steps 3 and 4

Step 3: The upper lid casts a shadow across the top of the iris. This tone is added with a flat, soft hair brush. Then the same brush adds the dark pupil. The tip of the round, soft hair brush aids the shadow line in the corner of the eye. Then paints a slender strip of light along the edge of the lower lid. A brink brush begins to scrub in the hair of the eyebrow.

Step 4: The tip of a round, soft hair brush strengthens and refines the shadows within the upper lid, plus the shadow cast on the white of the eye. The same brush sharpens the rounded shape of the iris and the pupil, adding a brilliant white highlight. The shadows in the eye socket are strengthened. The round brush extends the eyebrow with delicate, linear strokes.

painting the eyes final step
Completed study of painting the eyes in oils

Step 5. Study the complete eye above. A bristle brush hit added more shadow beneath the brow to make the eye socket look deeper. A round soft hair brush has strengthened the shadow lines within the upper lid. Notice the modelling of the lights and shadows on the eye itself. The eye it a rounded form and the shadows and lights should emphasize its curving shape.

Thus, the white of the eye is brightly lit at the right but curves gradually shadow at the left. The three-dimensional form of the eye is emphasized by the strip of shadow that is cast by the upper lid and curve over the ball of the eye. The sequence of painting operation is the same sequence you’ve already seen in the step-by-step demonstration of painting the head:

  • Brush Ilines for the forms and proportions
  • Broad massed of darks, halftones and lights.
  • Final darks, lights and details.